Wolverine web withdrawals fuel Twitter outcry

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A surge in new users and connected devices caused wifi disruptions campus-wide, students took to social media to voice their frustrations

KresLynn Knouse | Features Editor | @kreslynn

Students were left with no other alternative than to rely on the spotty coverage of their service providers the first week of fall semester due to campus-wide wifi outages. An unexpected surge of new users and connected mobile devices had students expressing their outrage through social media after what was presumably one of the most attentive first days of classes in UVU’s history.

“We were hit with more new users and device registrations than we normally see the whole first week of school,” Network Engineer Duke Heaton said in an email sent to technology and computing college staff.  “The Bradford servers could not handle all the ‘registrations’ we were throwing at it.”

Heaton explained the most new registrations that the server has handled in a single day until the week of August 18 was around 2,000. Despite the problems, more than 1,500 new users and 5,000 new devices were able to register Monday while there were another 4,000 new devices that could connect but were unable to register.

Students didn’t hesitate to voice their frustration during the apparent crisis of wifi deprivation, as there more posts in the Twitterverse about wolverine wifi in the last week than there were in the past two years combined.

“The wifi isn’t working at UVU. I think I might die.” Twitter user with the handle @AaronStartup posted Monday.

Registration problems continued August 19 and 20 as the number of new registrations limited how many users could simultaneously have wifi access. On the first day of the semester only 2,500 to 3,000 concurrent users were able to use wolverine wifi, and despite the network issues there was a peak of 5,000 concurrent users August 18.

“And today begins my semester long struggle fighting the wifi at UVU,” user @_jacurtis tweeted August 18.

“UVU needs to get it together because I can’t connect to wifi! I have two hours before my next class, FML,” user @KarinaSegura5 tweeted on August 19.

Heaton estimates once the registration influx is over there will be close to 10,000 concurrent users on a regular basis during the school year. He also noted that prior to the installation of the Bradford servers two years ago, the wireless network had never seen more than 4,000 concurrent users.

“We installed 125 new wifi access points over the summer for a total of about 500 now,” Heaton said. “We will be installing another 150 to 200 access points over the next few weeks and when the new classroom building comes online there will be another 200 access points installed there. This year, we will have gone from 375 access points to almost 900.”

With the goal in mind of having an access point inside every classroom, Heaton said there will have to be at least 500 more installed over the next couple years. There will also be an addition of four new Bradford servers scheduled to be installed by December.

The frustration of having limited wifi access was felt across campus, but students have had less problems throughout the recent weeks as the number of registrations took a sharp decline. If you are still having trouble connecting to the network, visit uvu.edu/network/wireless for tutorials or go to room BA 007 for a walk-in appointment with the service desk.